Monday, February 29, 2016

One Week Postpartum with Little Liam

I find myself in shock at how different this postpartum experience has been so far compared to last time.

This time around, I have been happy and felt immediate love for my newborn and extreme contentedness with our new family of four. It made me reflect on life after Ava's birth, and I now feel a little bad for myself that I thought that experience was normal typical. Looking back, I think I may have had the baby blues because I definitely did not feel as happy as I thought I would be! I was a first-time parent. My baby was delivered via emergency c-section, so physically and emotionally I had been through a lot. Everything was new, and everything was scary. We were learning to parent one hour at a time.

7 days after surgery, I just can't believe how good I feel! I mean, of course I don't really feel good, but I'm getting around really well and a time or two I have not kept up with my pain meds and I hardly noticed. I might consider reducing my dose of Ibuprofen soon! Chris even said he can't believe the drastic difference in pain medication I'm requiring this time! I dropped the Tylenol after a day or two at home. Last time I was on Percocet for a week and then weaned to just Ibuprofen and I think I stayed on that for quite awhile. So not only was I waking to nurse Ava, I was also waking to keep up with my meds around the clock. It was exhausting! And while of course I'm tired this time, somehow I'm dealing with it much better at one week. Liam had a little day/night confusion so there were two long nights because of that, and then one night he "forgot" how to latch so that took awhile to work through. I suspect what happened is engorgement came along and he got used to latching to huge swollen breasts, and then once they softened as engorgement was passing, he wasn't sure what to do. But! He's had 2 great nights besides those! He will wake to nurse every 2 to 2.5 hours and go right back to sleep. So last night I nursed him at 10, put him "to bed", and then he woke at 12:30, 3:00, and just before 6. So only 3 times! I can deal with that!

I can't help but compare him to Ava as a newborn. She was more needy, I think. She didn't like her swing - Liam loves his - and she didn't sleep as long. She was a slow eater (45 minutes most times, sometimes an hour) and Liam is a quicker eater. So the fact that Liam is overall a bit of an "easier" baby at this point, combined with an easier recovery and the fact that we are second-time parents has made this recovery feel like a cake walk! I think I am on the downhill of breastfeeding discomforts. I ended up with a cracked nipple with Ava - NOT VERY FUN, PEOPLE!! - and this time I've only had moderate soreness that seems to be easing into mild soreness now. It also has made a tremendous difference to have help from the beginning - no worries about cooking or cleaning and extra hands to help with Ava!

Ava likes to check on her "bay bee" and see what he's up to. She still loves to poke his cheeks and she likes to "help" swing him in his swing. She has started bringing him things, like her beloved sheepy and bunny! And last night after Ava was in bed, I was getting Liam out of the swing and saw that she had given him her golf ball that she had been playing with! She likes to lean over and talk to him and get in his face to look at him. She's just recently wanted to "snuggle" with him - she kind of lays her head near or on his. It's pretty sweet! We have to watch her closely as of course she is still very much a baby herself and doesn't know not to smash him or crawl over him. But she seems to be adjusting pretty well! I have been able to be a part of bedtime with her like I was hoping. Liam just hangs out in the swing. I'll ask her to help with Liam, whether it's covering him with a blanket or picking out a diaper for him. She tried to put one of his diapers on - she sat on it and couldn't figure out why it wouldn't fit!

I do get a little sad sometimes because Ava comes up to me with arms outstretched to be held and all I can do is slowly kneel or squat and offer her a hug, or I'll tell her to come to the couch and we can sit together. I neeeeeeed to hold my first baby!! So I'm anxious for when my belly isn't so tender and I can snuggle her a bit better. It's hard for me to let others take care of her needs when that's been my job for her entire life. So the first night at home I was tearful because I realized both my babies need me so much but I wouldn't be able to meet all of Ava's needs right away or that I'd have to let someone else take over.

I also get a little sad sometimes when I look at Liam because he might be our last baby. This might be the last time I get to snuggle our newborn child. The last newborn phase. I was feeling kind of bummed that my giant belly is gone, and that it may never swell up with a life inside again. I've become less and less nostalgic as I've gotten older - probably because the Army has forced me to learn to let go of things and move on - but I almost feel as if Liam is the last chapter in my child-bearing years. I think 2 kids is perfection, but its hard to tell at this point! Anyway, the tugging at my heart that I feel reminds me to enjoy every second of our kids' lives. I look at Liam and I just know how fast he's going to grow and change, and I don't want to wish away these early days even when sleep and alone time are slim to none. I know I'll get that back someday!

Lighting in Liam's room is so horrible! This photo is as real as it gets - I finally got a shower after Ava went to bed. I had a few hours by myself with the kids today (omg did I just type kids?! This is crazy!!) while Chris took his mom to the airport and then he had to go to work for a bit. And I survived! I've lost 25+ pounds this week! I have a lot of night sweats so a lot of it is water weight. I can fit into a few loose-waisted bottoms and whatever top I can find that isn't too inconvenient for nursing. So my outfits look fabulous!

I'll update more later - off to feed the little one!!

Friday, February 26, 2016

Liam's Birth Day!

I'm writing this up from the hospital on day 2 of recovery...can you believe it?! Things are totally different this time!

We checked into the hospital at 9 am on Monday morning. Not going to lie...I was fighting the tears saying goodbye to Ava - it was crashing down on me that life was about to change and that things would never be the same. I was so nervous and excited and my heart was pounding as we walked in! I hardly slept the night before.

I spent about an hour and a half in the recovery area hooked up to an IV for fluids and then they monitored Liam for about another half hour. It was kind of a long, boring 2 hours - it was hard to keep my mind occupied!

Then they came back and told us it was time to go! We walked back to the OR and I got my spinal while Chris got dressed up. It's crazy how fast the spinal works - I felt the warmth race down my leg, into my buttocks, and then the other leg. It happened so fast I was pretty numb before I could even lay down on the table! There were quite a few people in the OR, prepping everything. I got all laid down and a drape was put up and then Chris came in. The nurse told me step by step everything that was happening and that was going to happen. She said the doctor would begin poking at my belly to be sure I couldn't feel sharp pain. I could still feel pressure and mild sensations. The nurse chats with me and the next thing I know she's saying that the doctor is going to break my water - what?! I had no idea!! Couldn't feel a thing and I didn't realize it progressed that fast! A few moments later, I'm hearing the gargling cries of baby Liam! Chris is standing up and taking lots of photos over the drape - he watched pretty much everything! All the staff told Liam "Happy Birth Day!!" and remarked at how cute he was! I got a quick peek at him over the drape and then he was off with daddy to his little newborn bed to get suctioned and wiped down. Meanwhile I had tears streaming down my face into my ears while I listened to him cry! The most tugging and pressure was after Liam was out - the removal of the placenta and then the replacing of my uterus (apparently it is removed from the body cavity and then placed back in?! Crazy!) There were first year med students in the room, so they were all very interested to observe my bicornuate uterus! "Amazing!" and "beautiful" were some of the comments they had! It didn't take too much longer for them to stitch me up. I honestly don't remember much after that - it was all a blur! Liam needed a bit more suctioning for one side of his lung, so I got a quick snuggle and they were about to take him up to the NICU just to be cautious. But I guess they decided he sounded clear because they brought him to meet me in the recovery room! There we got skin to skin time and a chance to nurse. Then he got his first bath! We were then taken to our room to get settled. 

What. A. Rush!!

It was so hard to wait around for surgery, but once we got in the OR it went really fast!! It was not nearly as scary as I thought it would be! It was just an intimidating feeling to walk into the bright OR filled with tools and know you are getting cut open and are awake for it!

C-sections are amazing! It is so incredible to me that a baby can be surgically removed while you are awake. It blows my mind, actually! My belly is held together by glue. GLUE!! I had dissolvable stitches last time.

Recovery has been great so far, all things considered! It didn't take long for my pain level to get to a zero. I had a hard time tolerating any type of liquid afterwards, though. Even the tiniest sip brought on a wave of nausea that subsided just a few minutes later. I was shaky and weak from not eating for so long! But once that subsided I was able to eat normally. Cautiously, but normally! 

It's now Thursday and my pain is wayyyy more tolerable this time! I'm not on Percocet, just alternating Tylenol and Motrin. I've pooped twice - don't care it that grosses you out, it's a big deal! - and I can actually get in and out of bed by myself, which is something I couldn't do for about a week after Ava was born! I can stand on one leg to put pants on and get in and out of the car. Chris and I are in disbelief how much easier things are going this time!

My hormones aren't nearly as crazy this time around - I actually feel pretty normal. Liam appears to have a little day/night confusion as he has 2 sessions of being wide awake in the middle of the night. But he is definitely a more sleepy baby than Ava, so it has been easier to do things besides sit on the couch all day and nurse the baby! He seems to be laid back like Ava - not much crying, except for when he realizes he is most definitely hungry, and then he starts to squeak and squeal! We had his photos taken today, and he was so cooperative!

My milk came in already and Liam has gained back 4 ounces in just over 24 hours! He went from 8 pounds, 5 ounces at birth to 7 pounds, 10 ounces at his doctor's appointment yesterday. We took him in to get weighed today, and he was up to 7 pounds, 14 ounces!

Overall Ava has been doing well with the change. She doesn't really pay much attention to Liam, other than to approach him and poke his cheeks and facial features. I think a little bit of jealousy is starting to come out. I can't pick her up and hold her nearly as much, so I think she is missing that. We are making it a priory to do things with her while Liam is sleeping so she doesn't have to share us with him.

We just can't believe it. We have 2 babies!!!!! I'm so happy and thankful! I feel like my hormones are allowing me to enjoy this much more this time. I was such a mess, in every sense of the word last time. Maybe its a combination of things, like the fact that this is our second child or that this was a planned c-section. I'm so much more relaxed and I've learned from last time not to fuss over every single sound that the baby makes!

Here are a few pictures from Liam's big day!

Sunday, February 21, 2016


I can't believe we are counting down the final days before Liam is here!

My back and pelvis are going to be so happy!!

But I am still feeling apprehensive! Nobody wants to have surgery. I'm nervous to be awake for it this time! It was pretty sucky that I had to be put to sleep to deliver Ava. I woke up back in my room and they brought Ava to me and said, "This is your baby!". Chris wasn't a part of her birth, either, since everything was so rushed and I was put under. He says they asked him if Ava was his baby, and he said "I guess!". We are both looking forward to witnessing the birth of our child this time around! It's going to be so emotional!!

I still remember walking from the car to the house when we brought Ava home. My belly jiggled like Jell-o with the absence of the baby I carried for 9 months! I felt so unbalanced. It was almost an out-of-body experience! It's bizarre to go into a delivery this time knowing what to expect!

I reeeeeally hope breastfeeding starts off a little better this time. I've learned a few things from last time - make sure that latch is right EVERY TIME!! I think that's what went wrong with Ava. She was getting enough to eat but it was so painful to nurse her from about week 2 through week 4. I wanted to cry (and sometimes did) each time I had to feed her. Toe curling pain from soreness. Ugh. I remember nursing her for the first time at the hospital and feeling like "ok, so this is what I do, right?!" and kind of waiting for the first motherly instincts to kick in. So I think breastfeeding pains got me off on the wrong foot with life with a newborn. It automatically made everything harder and I never wanted to leave the house because breastfeeding required so many things - burp cloths, nursing pads, nipple cream, and those gel pads (total lifesavers!!!). But! Ava and I made it a full 12 months, so we definitely made it through the rough beginning to the other side!

I had my pre-op appointment on Monday! I have to be there 3 hours early to get hooked up and monitored and pumped full of IV fluids. I hope those 3 hours fly by - that's a long time to sit around and anticipate his birth! We are hoping for a quick 2-day stay so we can get back home! We got about zero sleep with the nurses always coming in to check on me or Ava, so I'll be sure to get up and start walking ASAP!

I got my toenails painted baby boy blue - for Ava I did bubblegum pink - and that was one of the last things to do before Liam's arrival!!

I sometimes feel like I'm going a little nuts...I must be ready for Liam because I've been feeling bored!! Probably because I physically can't do a whole lot so I'm doing a lot of sitting around and just the bare minimum to get me and Ava through the day. I start off feeling pretty good in the mornings, but by the end of the day, I hurt everywhere! While it's nice to sit in the calm for a few hours before bed, I'm getting a little antsy! I definitely didn't get a burst of energy at the end of this pregnancy, although I won't make it all the way to 40 weeks so maybe it's that it's just early.

I've been ravenously hungry this week. One moment I'll be fine, and the next moment I am digging through the fridge - it hits me quick!

Sleeping has become difficult. I'm just so uncomfortable. My pelvis often hurts when I lay on my side, so I lay on my back. Sometimes I can't breathe that way, but Liam usually settles into my body a bit and once he's done moving around I can usually fall asleep. Some nights he takes forever to quiet down! I'm having a hard time being sleepy enough to fall asleep.

Overall, both pregnancies have been relatively easy.

1st Trimesters:
AVA: morning and evening sickness with lots of food aversions, no vomiting, breast tenderness/pain
LIAM: a bit more intense, random all-day sickness with a mostly-normal appetite, few aversions, no vomiting

2nd Trimesters:
AVA: racing heart rate occasionally, pregnancy hives (briefly), reflux (briefly)
LIAM: achy pelvis, back aches

3rd Trimesters:
AVA: achy pelvis, back ache, carrying high, swollen hands and feet
LIAM: achy pelvis, back ache, carrying lower, occasional reflux

I had more of a variety of symptoms with Ava, although some were for a week or less. Liam has just been more of a pain, haha! My ribs haven't expanded nearly as much this time - I haven't had to use bra extenders and I haven't been retaining water this time, either (I've also not been as good at drinking water this time). Weight gain has been pretty much the same with both - it looks like I will have gained around 45 pounds each time! I craved milk and chocolate milk with both; a lot of watermelon and Sonic M&M Blasts with Ava and comfort food, jalapeƱos, and apples with Liam!

Liam has been more "mobile" in the womb in that he's been able to change positions multiple times. Either Ava was just lazy or she didn't have room! I carried both transverse until Ava was turned externally and then until Liam flipped himself head down.

An update on Ava:

Ava seems to finally be more cautious around my belly. She has to sort of sit on my knee and lean on the side of my belly when I read to her at bedtime. She voluntarily pats and rubs my belly and says "hi bee-um" and smiles sweetly at my belly! It melts my heart! We've been telling her that Liam comes out to play next week, and I've shown her how to diaper her baby doll and put her in the baby swing, car seat, and we had her sit with the Boppy pillow to hold her. She gets to go and play in Liam's room and loves to dig in his closet! We can't wait to see what she thinks of baby Liam! She's always been mesmerized by other crying children - she just stares!

Her language seems to be exploding! While she's getting kind of lazy with some "old" vocab (more, please has turned into a grunt), she is making many more attempts to say a lot more things! Some new ones are "I see oooo!" = "i see you", "lil guy" = "Little Einsteins" (her favorite show),  "A, B, O, P" = her version of the alphabet, "two!" = counting, and "kitty" has evolved into "kee kee!!"

She can also point out wayyy more things in a book than I realized. She can find a variety of animals and objects found around the house in one of her favorite books. She can even point out chocolate - that's my girl!! She's getting better at puzzles and knowing which piece goes where and she's improving on getting the piece to fit in it's spot. We've noticed she can match colors, and that she'll stop and correct herself if the colors aren't the same. Not every time, but some of the time! She's really into holding and carrying around a small stack of something - whether its a deck of cards or a box of bandaids. She likes to pass them one at a time to me, and then I hand it back and we start all over. She loves her seashells from the ocean we got a few weeks ago. She likes her little collections! She's become more playful in the backyard and digs in the sand and hunts for rocks. She loves her swing and listening for planes overhead and birds chirping and neighbor dogs barking. She could be outside all day, I think!

Eating can be hit or miss with her now. One week she will love something, and the next thing we know, she's refusing it. This week she was really into homemade broccoli cheddar soup and chili mac! Her new favorite thing is to sneak into the fridge when I'm digging around in there to pick out an apple and bite into it! She loves loves loves apples! She struggles with the skin since she only has 4 molars, so she'll just spit it out. She loves to help me pick out produce at the commissary and "putting food away" when we get home. She tries to take bites of everything so I have to try my best to stay one step ahead of her! Our loaf of bread got a little mutilated because I couldn't chase her down fast enough!

I just. Can't. Wait. To hold and love on Liam!! The time is almost here!!!

I have no idea how I'm going to be able to sleep tonight!!

P.S. How cool is this time-lapse video of my pregnancy?! (I hope it loads correctly!)

Tomorrow we will be a family of 4!! I'll update when I can!

Saturday, February 13, 2016

38 Weeks: One Week Left

This has been a fast week! It helps that I was out of the house for 3 mornings...even though it exhausts me!

We always go to the commissary on Tuesday mornings - we would do Mondays but they are closed - because we like to start the week out with a full fridge and the weekends are too crowded/shelves are picked over. So because I'm so very pregnant now, with a toddler in tow, commissary runs now take up practically the whole morning! It wasn't until after Ava was well into eating table food that we got into the swing of meal planning. It has really made things sooo much easier! I plan about 3/4 meals for 7 days and that gets us through the week. There's always leftovers and sometimes we will eat out for a meal on the weekends. It makes budgeting super easy too, because we know about how much groceries will cost us per week. I highly recommend meal planning - I usually go to my Pinterest boards for new ideas if I'm tired of our old favorites!

Wednesday is library story hour for Ava! It's actually only half an hour, which is perfect for Ava. A few songs, a few books, and a craft at the end! It was SO COLD on this day - the wind chill was in the 20's! I'm still trying to learn what is "normal" weather for this area! Most of the time we just need long sleeves and a jacket, but the morning lows have required coats and hats lately! Story time was hard for me this time because sitting is just so darn uncomfortable! And there was a lot of up and down with Ava, showing her moves to the songs and keeping her corralled. We almost left early because I just wasn't sure I could make it! Laughing hurts lately - I'm wondering if I've pulled my muscles having big belly laughs at Ava the last few nights - she's been extra silly at bedtime and we both just laugh and laugh in the rocking chair! Love my girl!

Thursday I had a doctors' appointment, and, no surprise...the doctor saw that Liam has lots of hair on the ultrasound!! He's still head down which explains the pressure I feel if I squat for more than 15 seconds! There's not too many ways I can play comfortably with Ava, so I feel thankful she likes when I sit her her rocker in her room and she likes to join me with the footrest up on the couch. I think she'll be with me on the couch a lot after Liam's birth! Reclining couches were seriously the best investment: 2 pregnancies, 2 csection recoveries, and 1 knee realignment recovery!

My kidney ultrasound results came back all clear! I figured that at 30 years old, if I had kidney issues, that something would have come up by now! But I guess the doctor just wanted to be thorough.

I'm moving pretty slow lately. I know the end is near so I may as well enjoy this time I have left! I have to roll over in bed soooo sloooooowly or else I strain a ligament! I sleep on my left side but I often wake up on my back - just how it was last pregnancy, too. My hip sometimes pops when I roll over, but it's deep in my pelvis. I feel it in my upper butt cheek area - I don't like it! It feels weird and sort of unnatural!

Liam's room is finally finished!! The final touch is a mobile I made...which I have yet to string together and hang up. I love how cozy it feels in his room - it's a small room, which I think is what makes it a perfect nursery. The double stroller we ordered came in too...its starting to feel real! I will be a mommy of 2 in about a week!!!

Here is his room!

Same dresser we used for Ava's room.

$9 blackout curtains from Target! And the crib we got is identical to Ava's - what were the odds!

Love the Threshold brand cube organizers from Target! Much more durable. Ava has a 6-cube in her room. Ava's old recliner, and of course you will see the stuffed Jayhawk in here! 

Love this little red hand-me-down chair! 

I made a little spot for Ava to hang out when I'm in here nursing and rocking Liam!

Shelf made by daddy! We never really figured out a good spot for the arrow so it sits here for now!

Letters from Michaels! So happy I found them!

I love all the natural light in this house.

Monday, February 8, 2016

The Best Baby Registry!

I forgot to share this little tidbit!

If you are expecting a child, you definitely need to do an Amazon registry!

Here are my reasons why:

1. You can add ANYTHING from ANY website.

2. Your shipping information is on the registry and Amazon Prime members can ship to you for free! (Items must be Amazon Prime eligible) This works great for out-of-town friends and family!

3. You receive a completion discount of 15% off a month or two before the expected arrival date (I forget the exact timeline)! This is a one-time use coupon with exclusions, but it works on most items! I stuck some things for Ava on Liam's registry so we could get the discount on a couple things for her, too!

4. I had 3 registries with duplicates items across each one to see which store had better prices. 99% of the time, Amazon has been the same or the cheapest! Our double stroller has been priced at $299 in store, and I found the price fluctuates a bit on Amazon. The green version of the stroller dropped to $189! Stack the 15% discount on it and that's quite a deal!

5. They have a great return policy! So don't sweat it if you need to return something. Amazon has great customer service - we once ordered diapers in the wrong size and they told us to KEEP them and they sent us the correct size! So we ended up with free diapers!

6. I did not know about this for Ava's Amazon registry, but you get a FREE Welcome box full of baby/new mommy samples! I didn't spot this until just a few weeks ago, hidden on the sidebar when I had the registry pulled up. You have to have at least $10 worth of items already purchased off your registry, you'll need to complete the "registry jumpstart" (this is just a guide for what items Amazon suggests you'll need for a new baby, but you DON'T have to actually add them...just check off the item until it says 100% complete <<< this part was a little confusing to me). Lastly, you must be an Amazon Prime member (I'm telling you...the free 2-day shipping is worth it!) and then you can claim your FREE box! Here is a link to the FAQ page for clarification.

This is what we got in our box:

A few brands of baby wash (Johnson & Johnson and Burt's Bees)
A few brands of baby lotion (BabyGanics and Aquafor)
Diaper samples (Seventh Generation, size newborn)
A huuuuge refill of baby wipes
A 4oz. Avent bottle
Nursing pads samples (Avent)
MAM Pacifier
30-Day supply of prenatal vitamins

Pretty cool! I think I would have appreciated it a bit more as a first-time mom, when you have NO idea what products you'll like. But I still plan to use just about all of it! I'll never turn down free diapers and wipes! We have used one diaper for Ava to put on her baby doll, and since we already have an abundance of bottles, Ava also got the bottle to play with as well. These will be her baby things she gets to play with once Liam is born!

Sunday, February 7, 2016

37 Weeks

Ok, things are getting hard.

I can only choose about one major task to do per day. I went to the commissary today and it pretty much wiped me out. AND it just so happened that Chris met me there, so I had help the last half of the trip. I came home and unloaded the car (never getting paper bags again...I could not load up my arms like I usually do with plastic so it took A THOUSAND trips from the car into the house) and had to sit on the couch until it was time to give Ava lunch. I was seriously almost in tears trying to put groceries away and prep Ava's food (thankfully it was just a matter of reheating leftovers and chopping some grapes) and I realized there was nothing for me to grab and eat for lunch, despite just coming home from the store. Ava was done quickly (she was mad the mac and cheese was all gone and didn't want anything else, it was the same story at breakfast except with eggs) and then I got her ready for her nap. She's been kind of a spitfire today so she threw her book so I didn't sit and read that and she wasn't interested in hugs so she went right into her crib. I quickly ordered some pizza because I DIDN'T KNOW WHAT ELSE TO DO. Seriously, I'm about over being pregnant with a toddler!

My whole body hurts. I have a massive watermelon squeezed under my skin. My pelvis is so achy and I waddle pretty bad when I walk because of it. And my back hurts. I want to cry when I drop something on the floor. I have a feeling the amount of Mother Goose Ava gets to watch is going to drastically increase as the amount of cleaning I do drastically decreases! I don't want to moooooooove.

Thankfully I sleep so hard at night. So I'm getting rest - I actually felt really good when I woke up this morning! It's the up and down all day with Ava that's hard. And when nap time rolls around and I have the chance to get a few things done, I can't, because I need to rest up for the afternoon with Ava.

I've talked with a lot of my friends who have a toddler and either just had another baby or are almost there. They've all said the same thing: 1)The second pregnancy was way harder than their first, and 2)The last month was SUPER hard. At least I'm not alone, but its going to be a looooong 3 weeks!

Ava is really starting to show she's ready to begin potty training...and she's trying to scale her crib! WHY AVA???? WHY NOW????? I'm totally ok with getting her ready for these milestones, but just not when I'm so uncomfortable!! I cannot get down on the floor to mess with the whole up and down of pants and sitting on a potty or trying to teach her how to stay in a toddler bed. I really want to hold off on these skills until Liam is a few months old and I've got a grip on life again, but Ava will call the shots, I'm sure! I might just get one of those seats that goes on the potty and use a step stool so I don't have to reach so far down and I can sit on the edge of the tub! There wouldn't really be much change in her bed - her crib is a convertible so it would just be a matter of taking the side off and putting the toddler rail up.

So hard to make these parenting decisions!! I'm really in no rush. Ava's life is about to drastically change so she's going to have to wait on the toddler bed for sure. Sigh...I guess I'll order a potty seat! THANK YOU AMAZON PRIME. Love, 9 month-pregnant-mommy-of-a-toddler-who-can't-get-to-the-store.

Also, for those of you with small children who love grapes, BUY THIS GRAPE CUTTER!!!! For just 10 bucks, you will be a happy camper! In 3 seconds I had a heap of quartered grapes! The blade is super sharp so it was effortless to use and you can use it for cherry tomatoes too! I love it. I got it on Amazon! I think Bed Bath and Beyond carries it too.

I had a check up at the doctor this week. Everything is progressing as it should - I only have 2 more check ups and my pre-op appointment until Liam is here!

We've decided against the tubal litigation. I think the appeal of effortless and hormone-free birth control was clouding my ability to really consider if we were for sure done with having kids. And we still don't know! But that's not important right now. It's too permanent of a decision to make at this point in our lives.

We did a hospital tour since I will be delivering off-post at a hospital we have not been to yet. What a nice labor and delivery floor! Quite the upgrade from Ft. Campbell, for sure! They had smart tv's with cameras for Skype in all the rooms since they serve a large military population. I thought that was a pretty thoughtful upgrade!

Liam got in a really uncomfortable spot the other night. Nothing I did helped. So I gave up and went to bed. He did not move out of that spot for awhile so I couldn't sleep for a bit.

This week I plan to pick up the little things we still need before Liam arrives! The freezer is adequately stocked, and a trip to SAMs is on the to-do list as well. My hospital bag is packed (well, things are in a heap next to the bag...does that count?!) and I'm still hoping that burst of energy will hit so I can do one more wave of cleaning and call it good.

Two. Weeks. To go.

this is crazy!!!

Monday, February 1, 2016

Week 36: The Last Month!

Hubby and I finally got a babysitter and were able to get out and see a movie! We were nervous how Ava would do with a stranger, but the two of them really hit it off! Apparently Ava was quite the chatterbox and the sitter adored her (I mean, who wouldn't...but I guess I'm a bit biased)! So it was nice to get out and it was nice for Ava to have a new friend to play with!

We were finally able to make it back to church after 3 weeks of at least one of us being sick! Ava loves the handbell choir and the organ music! She gasps in awe and asks for more as soon as it stops! She did much better at "behaving" when there was no music this time - I think I picked the right toys to bring this time, and there were a few kids in the pew in front of us that helped to distract her! She still couldn't make it the whole time without trying to escape our pew, but she's improving for sure! We stayed for fellowship time and Ava enjoyed a snack while we chatted with the family that was in the pew in front of us.

We never really found a home church while at Ft. Campbell, and I must say, it feels really nice to feel like we might have a church family again! And to be a part of the community! It's really easy for me to become a recluse, and I think it's going to be a personal challenge at this duty station to just get out there and do things. It's going to be hard having such young children while doing it, but I'm sure I will feel less secluded and it's the only way to make friends! I sure hope Liam will like being worn (Ava didn't for many weeks...and once she did, she didn't like it for more than 10 minutes) because I have a feeling I'm going to wear this kid everywhere!!

Ava had her 18 month check up and we learned she's a tall, slender girl! I was relieved that she wasn't due for any shots, but Ava didn't believe the doctor until we were leaving. She's cried at her last few appointments because I think that she remembers that stripping down to your diaper and having some lady look at you on a funny table covered in paper means that you get stabbed in the leg 3 times with needles! I distracted her by asking her where different body parts were, and it worked for the most part! I guess I hadn't realized how well she has been fitting into her 24 month clothes - she's got those and 18 month clothes in her dresser so we just grab whatever. But it makes sense now - she's so tall she needs the added length! Looks like I'll be packing up the 18 month stuff sooner than I thought! She's always worn the same size as her age up until this point! She fit pretty well into a 2T outfit last week!

My tendons in my feet have disappeared a bit, which means I'm starting to swell a little bit! Ava's doctor said I looked like I was all belly, which was a nice thing to hear because most comments have been "wow, you are big!" or the lovely "are you having twins?!" I got a few weeks back from a waitress.

I mean really?

I know that sometimes we all say awkward things that we don't mean sometimes just to try and start a conversation, but that is definitely on the list of things you DON'T say!! I brushed it off but it still stung a bit! It's not like we can help how big our bellies are!

I have gone through an insane amount of hot chocolate over the last several weeks. I'd say that and chocolate milk and apples are my only cravings lately!

I've done some serious work in Liam's room! I finally decided it was time to get stuff up on the walls. It's been tricky to keep Ava out of the room when I've tried to work on it, and I couldn't do it at nap time because she'd hear my hammering. So Chris took her outside during some nice weather so I could bust out the decor! I just wasn't feeling the creative juices I needed to feel inspired to decorate UNTIL I found the perfect letters to spell his name on the wall...and a few other missing pieces...and then it all came together! Chris is making a shelf for his room so once that is up and we get his cube organizer in there, it will pretty much be complete! And I've started Liam's laundry with the hand-me-down linens from Ava and the clothes we have for him already.

I really need to pack my hospital bag. That's on my to-do list for the week!

Each time I get dressed to leave the house, I feel like I find something else that doesn't fit anymore! I'm down to just 2 pair of jeans that I can be comfortable in for more than an hour, and even some of my maternity shirts aren't quite covering all of my belly...although this is my second pregnancy for my maternity clothes and they've been washed and dried A LOT!

I finally took Ava to the story time at the library on post! This one is not a "baby and me" class so I was curious about how it would go. They did a song, read a short book, did another song, read another book, and did one more song. Ava only knew one song, but she was too busy watching to do the actions. She danced a little to the last one and started clapping and marching around! It was in a big open area so I had to hang on to her shirt a bit since getting up off the floor takes me about 5 minutes, haha! Chasing her is something I can no longer do! They had a mess-free craft afterward, which she didn't really care about or understand yet. But here eyes were glued on the leaders and she paid attention to both stories! I'd say it was a success! She had a good time and we hit up the park afterward to burn some energy.

We had been wanting to go check out Savannah before Liam was born, and with Chris headed back to work and me hitting 9 months and the typical "no traveling" cutoff, we knew it was now or never! So we took a 3 hour drive to the coast! Lucky Ava got her first trip to the Atlantic Ocean at just a year and a half old!

The weather was a little on the chilly side, but it was sunny so long sleeves was enough. The water was like ice, but we still got our feet wet! One wave came up to Ava's knees - I think she was too shocked to have a reaction! We spent almost an hour and a half taking turns walking/running with Ava in the sand. She liked to play with the sand and scoop it and smash daddy's sandcastles! She loved collecting sea shells and sorting them! To say Ava had a great time would be a complete understatement! It was such a fun time for us all - we are already talking about going back after Liam is born! The only reason we decided to leave is because it was passed lunchtime and we still had about a 45 minute drive to get back to downtown Savannah. So we all brushed off the sand and had the windows down for the drive along the coast. 

We were hoping to eat at a local restaurant, but we settled for a chain restaurant downtown due to parking issues (seriously, nowhere to park! We paid $20 to park in pretty much the ONLY parking garage we could find) and not wanting to spend a lot or wait too long. Lunch was yummy and we walked around a little afterward, but prego couldn't handle much, haha! We stopped a Forsyth park to let Ava burn some more energy before the drive home. The playground was super busy, but Ava enjoyed watching other kids and trying a big slide and climbing a rock wall ramp! It always makes me nervous when there are a lot of big kids running around because they usually have no regard for the tiniest humans that are trying to play, too. She did get knocked down a time or two, but she got right up and kept on going!

Then it was time for one more back-of-the-car diaper change for Ava and then we drove home. Ava never fell asleep on the way back, so she only had a 10 minute nap the whole day! She did great, though! She was a happy girl and seemed to love the adventure!

It has been a long 2 months here in Georgia already! Our move already seems like a long time ago. I'm SO GLAD we were able to get here ASAP instead of having to wait until January or February to move! I could not imagine going through all that mess right now! So I'm just now getting back to being a myself! Chris is off leave and is back at work. It was nice to have him home, but we both also agree that it's nice to have our routines back! I ran 2 errands with Ava this morning to get miss tall girl some bigger clothes so she's not walking around in high-waters and sleeves that only come part of the way down! Walking back to the car after the second stop made me realize my days of being able to leisurely browse through a store or two have come to an end. It felt like my hips were clicking and my pelvis was going to crack open and I felt so much pressure! I was regretting our second stop and was ready for nap time so I could recline on the couch.

Some days I feel so happy and excited for Liam to arrive, and other days I am so miserable and grumpy and I just kinda sulk at how hard it is to do things right now. I have so many things I'd like to be doing, but they just aren't physically possible. I know I am supposed to be taking it easy right now, but that's pretty much impossible with a toddler. I can't keep up with her and I can't keep up with her messes. It made me really sad the other night - she was being so cuddly at bedtime and I felt my heart breaking when I had to lay her down in her crib when she was perfectly content snuggling my neck and saying "love you" repeatedly to me. It's not really possible for me to stand and hold 25 pounds on top of my big ole belly. She rarely wants to snuggle, and I didn't want to put her down, but she was putting too much pressure on my belly and it was killing my back. I wanted to stand there with her forever. I really want to make her bedtime my priority after Liam is born because it is a really special time of day for us. Chris and I have always done it together, and Ava always snuggles me before I lay her in her crib. She needs it. I need it. And I don't want anything to take that away from us.

I keep thinking about how laid back I plan to be for this next baby. I was so rigid with so many of the things we did with Ava. A lot of it was for good reason - it went along with Ava's personality, as well as our personality as parents. But since Liam is not the only child, things are going to have to be a little more flexible with him. I really want to get out and do more this time around. Ava will need adventure anyway, so I'm sure I'll learn quickly how to manage 2 under 2 in public quickly. Or at least learn what not to do, haha!

I didn't nurse in public very often with Ava. And when were were out and about and she was hungry, I usually just nursed her in the car and I brought a pillow along. I had a pretty forceful let-down, and so there was always milk seeping out of the side of Ava's mouth since it came out so fast. So nursing was usually pretty messy and required burp cloths to keep us both dry. It was just easier for me to manage it all in the car. I'm really hoping to master the art of nursing while baby wearing because I think that will be helpful so I can have my hands free!

3 weeks from today we will be holding little Liam! So crazy!! Hopefully he'll stay in there that long, although I'm sure I'll be complaining that I want him out!